Textbook launch marks new learning opportunity on human development for Lao students

04 November 2014

Vientiane, 4th November 2014  Lao students will be able to study human development as an academic subject thanks to a new textbook launched at the National University of Laos (NUoL) today. 

The book, developed by the National University of Laos in collaboration with the National Economic Research Institute, Ministry of Planning and Investment (NERI) and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will be a tool for students to learn about the concept and key dimensions of human development. The Lao-language book is designed to expand the students’ understanding of people-centered development that does not only focus on economic growth, but also on the quality and accessibility of basic services, such as education, health and social protection.

Today’s book launch was attended by Assoc. Prof. Somchith Souksavanth, Dean of Faculty of Economic and Business Management at NUoL, Dr. Sathabandith Insyxiengmay, Deputy Director General of the NERI and Ms. Azusa Kubota, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Lao PDR, as well as more than 80 Government officials, teachers, lecturers and students.

“Human development is relatively new concept to Lao PDR, but it is indeed an interesting way of looking at development and worth further exploration”, said Assoc. Prof. Somchith. “Ensuring sufficient levels of human development is everyone’s duty, and this textbook will be a good start in enhancing people’s understanding of the concept,” he said.

“It is important that the next generation, as the future leaders of this country, understands the importance of people-centered development as an element of good governance and policy-making”, said Ms. Kubota from UNDP.

The human development module will be taught as a part of economic development policy course at the Faculty of Economics and Business Management of the NUoL. Based on feedback from this pilot phase, it could be developed into a stand-alone academic course and expanded to other educational institutions in the country.

UNDP publishes an annual report on Human Development to measure and analyse development progress around the world. In addition, as a collaboration between UNDP and the Ministry of Planning and Investment, a national Human Development report is published on Lao PDR every four to five years.

For more information, please contact: 

Dr. Sitthiroth Rasphone at NERI/MPI: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Ms. Silavanh Vongphosy at UNDP:

Tel: 267 736, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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